Saturday, June 26, 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

expressive arts carnival activity number 1

i stumbled across an expressive arts carnival today at mind parts. this activity is right up my alley...and i really wanted to participate in this carnival. each month, there will be a new creative activity. this is the first month--and the first activity is to create a wordle or other word cloud to captures the essence of a soothing activity.

for me this wasn't even a question. art. art is what brings me peace in expression. art is what allows me to release and express my thoughts and emotions when words fail. drawing, painting, even something as simple as using crayons in a coloring book brings me such childlike joy, such satisfaction. i would be lost inside my own head without my art.

violinist plays mario in real time

hubby sent me this link yesterday and let me tell you, this video is awesome.

Monday, June 21, 2010

lego art

replication of Iwo Jima
all artwork by
Nathan Sawaya:

it's been a bit since i blogged last. there are several reasons for this. one, i'm busy with kids, hubby, piano lessons, life. two, i have nothing to say. or rather...i have lots to say and don't know how to say it. does that make sense?

so today i decided i wanted to blog but i didn't know what to say, again. i searched google images for some artwork that would help me speak my feelings. i searched the term "art" and started scrolling through pages, looking at images. and this is what i found. an artist by the name of nathan sawaya. (go look at his website. you won't be disappointed, there are hundreds of amazing pieces.)

i love these sculptures. they're made entirely out of legos. i used to love playing with legos as a kid, but i can guarantee nothing i made was ever this cool. the coolest lego thing i ever built was a yoda when i was 22 and i followed instructions from a box. there were pieces missing from it and then i had to tear it all down when i was done anyway.


what really struck me is how much these sculptures speak to me. how much they display my feelings.







i don't even know how to tell you how i connect with these...but i do. i see myself in each of them, in a different way. do you connect with them?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

don't drink and drive

go read jia's post june 19, 1986, about her mother. pledge for yourself to never drive while under the influence.

fourth anniversary of the blog carnival against child abuse

it's the fourth anniversary of the blog carnival against child abuse! unfortunately i didn't get a post submitted in time for this, although i had every intention to. :( i'm looking forward to reading the other posts, though. go check it out on marj's blog, survivors can thrive!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

my top apps for the iphone

i'm depressed today.

crappy night. up late because hubby had school, little buddy refused to go to sleep until after 10, then talking to hubby, slept poorly. in spite of staying up until all hours of the night, little buddy decided to get up around 7:30 am. joy. this meant he was a total pain this morning...whining, throwing fits, even pushed his sister a few times. baby was also whiny. i was able to finish painting the baby's room, which was nice, but the migraine i had a couple days ago came back. lovely. now it's naptime and buddy refuses to go to sleep...again.

as you can tell i'm in a sour mood.

so my attempt at a distraction.

my favorite apps for my iphone! i thought i would share them all with you.

1. my ereader, stanza. love this. i have a book with me wherever i go and it doesn't take up space. it fits in my pocket. i don't have to worry about finding a bookmark. i can download thousands of books for FREE! it is so awesome.

2. pandora. i have stations for every mood, and even some for the kids. little buddy is really into listening to music lately.

3. the iphone, same reasons as pandora. i LOVE music and have it on all the time.

4. my net diary. IF i were still being better at working out and eating this would be even more beneficial. while i was using it though it freaking rocked! it tracks your calorie intake and output, projects your weight loss and helps you lose more weight. it rocks and really worked....when i was using it, like i said.

5. gospel library. for us mormons this rocks. it's free, has all of the scriptures, church manuals, general conference talks, teachings of the presidents, youth and primary publications (for the strength of youth, duty to god awards, etc.) and much more. really easy to use, and i imagine if you were a teacher it would be really nice to have. you can cross reference and highlight through various resources. love it.

6. my camera and video camera. i use these a lot since i have such adorable kids.

7. art puzzles. these are by far some of my favorites. there are four that are free (michelangelo, monet, renoir, and rousseau). they are jigsaw puzzles with an easy, medium and hard setting. each app plays beautiful classical music. they are fun and very relaxing.

8. relax with andrew johnson (free version). this guy is a hypnotherapist from scotland, who has a recording to help you relax. it ROCKS. i've even got hubby using it with me. the music and his voice are perfect for relaxing. by the time i'm done with it (only 15 or so minutes) i feel great. i want to download his others but i can't stomach the $2.99 each right now. (he has apps for social phobia, substance abuse, and other things as well.)

9. words with friends. this is the ultimate game. hubby and i play it a lot. it's scrabble, only without the little pieces that get lost, fall off the board, and go flying when you accidentally bump the table.

10. idrag toilet paper. this one is fun and stupid. you use your finger to unroll the roll of toilet paper as fast as you can.

11. solitaire and spider solitaire. need i say more?

12. bubbles lab. little buddy likes this one, he's always asking me to play bubbles. you point and aim colored bubbles. when you get three of the same color to touch, they fall. you try to knock them all down before time's up.

13. my art apps: i have several art gallery apps that are great. the best one? the louvre's app. i love this. you can search every piece of art in the museum, read about it, see detailed photos of it, and even map its location.

14. itick, my metronome. this is awesome and i use it frequently with my piano students.

15. signing time. keeps little buddy occupied when we go shopping which is great. it costs way too much though.

if you have an iphone/itouch (or other app capable phone) what are your favorites?


painting the baby's room. i think this ended up taking me a lot longer than little buddy's room. (you can see it here and here.) it turned out so cute!

the ceiling...i did a big sun around her light.
one wall has large flowers on it that goes from floor to ceiling. i couldn't get it all in one picture so here it is in pieces.

the color scheme came from her curtains (yellow, orange, pink) and the glider rocker in blues and greens.
after i finished the flowers i did little butterflies in the same colors.
these two butterflies are over the crib, and i painted her name really cute in pink as well. but since this is an anonymous blog i'm not posting it. (if you know me and want to see it, i posted it on facebook and our family blog, which is private.)

didn't it turn out adorable? i'm glad i finally got it done, now i can put my paints away and her room can be clean again!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

22 feet and growing

I've been working on the timeline but have come to a standstill...because I ran out if paper. So far I have finished up through age 11 and my time line is 22 feet long. Yes that is feet, not inches. Holy crap. It has been good, though. Things I've learned: 1. My seven year old year was pretty crappy. Not just pretty crappy...miserable. 2. My eleven year old year was by far the angriest, most depressing, most out of control emotionally than any other (so far). 3. No wonder my family was afraid of me...angry and hurt by me...and wanted very little to do with me. And I'm not even halfway through my life yet. 4. All those years I thought I was dealing with the abuse just fine by myself? I was just lying to myself. I was unhappy and hurting and angry. No normal nine year old should be thinking about suicide. 5. My family must really have loved me to continue putting up with me...and attempting to reach out to me. Friday I get more paper, and continue the journey through my life.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

working on my trauma time line

i've started putting my time line together. i printed pictures of myself from every year, plus one of my mom when she was pregnant with me. so far i've gotten through age six--right in the middle of the abuse.

this exercise started out easy. it was fun to write down all the things i did. until i got to age five...then it got really, really hard. suddenly i was recording memories and events that surrounded the abuse i went through...and i didn't want to.

i have discovered several things while preparing for and beginning this activity. the first being that the abuse started earlier than i originally thought. i always thought it started when i was about six or so, then ended just after my eighth birthday. in actuality it started when i was five, probably right around the time i began kindergarten....possibly earlier, in fact. my parents said they pinpointed it about four or five. while this doesn't change anything, at least as far as the effects of it, it is nice to have a more accurate time line.

the second thing i've discovered (that i already talked about) is that i really had a lot of good things in my life. it just seems that the bad overshadows the good, and that the effects of the abuse affected all of the good. i would like to learn to be able to separate the two.

one of the things the workbook suggests is using personal items on the time line. i went digging through my cedar chest a few days ago, looking for things. i found several cards and letters from my mother....mostly telling me that she loved me, with an undercurrent of frustration, maybe even desperation, because she was unable to connect with me. even a sense of guilt because of this...and pleading for my behavior to change. i also found a card from my aunt. of everyone in my extended family, she is the only one who has really supported me and my family through this. it seems everyone else just wants it to "go away" and have me forget about it, be all la-de-da and friends with my uncle, sweep it under the rug and go on living life as if nothing happened. well that's just not possible. i also think that my grandma has been very supportive. i feel no support at all from anyone else, and most of them (from what i understand) think that what my uncle did to me was just a hormonal teenage boy "experimenting." bull. a hormonal teenage boy experiments with porn or a girlfriend, NOT with a five year old.

the other thing i journals. i kept a journal almost every day from the first day of seventh grade through the end of my senior year of high school. i even have journals that were inconsistently written in from fourth grade through sixth, and a few since i've been out of high school. until recently, i never once wrote anything about being abused in these journals. not ONCE. nothing about therapy, about court proceedings, about how i felt about it. pages and pages about my depression and struggles getting along with my family, pages and pages about feeling suicidal, NOTHING about WHY i felt that way. i deliberately avoided mentioning any of this. why? because writing it down made it real. writing it down forced me to think about it, to acknowledge it, to deal with it....and i didn't want to. it made it permanent.

well, it is permanent. my past will not change, no matter how much i avoid it. so i'm no longer avoiding it. here i am, 24 years old, and i am writing about and dealing with my childhood.

last night i was "dealing" with my childhood, working on my time line, and i called my dad to talk to him about dates and such that corresponded with the court proceedings. (i had found the case law from our state supreme court online, so i had a date for that, but not for anything else.) while dad didn't remember, i did end up talking to him for two hours. and he opened up to me, and i to him, more than ever before, i think. i've always felt closest to my dad out of anyone in my family overall. part of that, i think, is his personality. my mom is like me---emotional, mood swings, passionate. my dad is pretty even keel. if he's happy, sad, excited, mad....there isn't much variation, which has always felt more stable to me. i've always wanted to make my parents proud, make them happy, but haven't felt i was able to...and feel quite often that they aren't proud of me. last night, though, my dad told me that he was glad that i was his daughter and that he is proud of me.

i really needed to hear that.

then hubby came home and i talked to him about the things my dad and i had talked about, and was able to open up to him, and cuddle, and i felt happy. in spite of the underlying pain and anxiety and fear....i was happy, laying in his arms.

moments like those don't happen often for me. i want to remember those moments forever.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

enabling reply emails to comments: please do this!

to all my readers and commenters:

first i'd like to say THANK YOU for reading my blog and leaving comments. especially leaving comments. because of course part of me is an attention whore (yes i can admit it) and i just love the comments. (the other part of me is doing this for awareness purposes and also as a way to connect to other survivors out there, not attention-whorish.)

anyway. i love responding to your comments, although i'm not always good at this. the thing is that i like responding to comments via email...rather than posting on my blog. when i get your comments in my inbox, and i hit "reply," much of the time i get a "" and i can't send you an email. :( this makes me very sad! so will you all please do me a favor?

go into your blogger account and set it up to enable reply emails. here's how you do it:

Go to your Dashboard
Go to "Edit Profile"
Where is says "Share My Profile", check that box
Where it says "Show My Email Adress", check that box

checking this box does NOT display your email on your blog, only in your profile. if you have this box checked but not "share my profile" checked, then you still cannot be found. this will put your profile on your blog. if you don't want this shown on your blog, go under your profile and clear the field that says "about me." then only your name, avatar, and link to your profile will show.

if you want responses to your comments but don't want to use your personal email, just set up another email account specifically for comments. here's how to do it:

Go back to "Edit Your Profile" in "Dashboard"
Scroll down to "Identity"
Where it says "Email Address", enter the email box you want the mail to go to.
(or if you don't have a blog, you'll find this feature on your google account page.)

if you don't have a blog, you can create your profile in your google account (or whatever program you use). make sure and put your email address here.

so there you go. please, please, please do makes things so much easier for me and every other person whose blog you comment on!

another reason why i love our apartment complex

so yesterday hubby did his routine checking on the sex offenders in our area. turns out one moved into our the building right next to us that is next to the kids playground. well we were told before we signed our lease that this complex does not allow sex offenders (or felons of any kind), and they did background checks on us to make sure. as you can imagine we were pretty upset by this, having been told one thing and seeing another. so i called the manager.

turns out they really DON'T allow sex offenders and that this guy is not on the lease in that apartment, so they didn't do a background check on him. that means these people are in violation of their agreement. the manager was great, she said she really appreciated me bringing this to their attention. she did her own search with the dept of corrections, found the guy, and went right on over to their apartment and gave them a three day notice to vacate or comply. she told me they'd be evicting this guy right away and if nothing was done then she'd be contacting their attorneys. wow! and i was expecting some kind of fight, or that she was going to tell me things had changed (our management just changed a couple months ago) and that we were out of luck. i was so pleased that she was so nice, and understood my concerns, agreed with me and did something about it right away.

hooray for our apartments! one more reason i LOVE living here.